7 Ways to Boost Your Energy Levels

by Dr. Jonny Bowden on August 11, 2009 · 1 comment

By Dr. Jonny Bowden

“Fatigue makes cowards of us all.”

 – Vince Lombardi

Fatigue is one of the biggest problems of modern life, but we’re trying to fix that problem in all the wrong ways.

Trying to “get” or “find” energy is like trying to grab a fistful of water. If you want water (energy) to sit in your hand, you have to first create the conditions under which it’s possible- in the case of water, keeping your fingers tightly together and your hand cupped while open will do the trick- but trying to grab the water will not. It’s the same thing with energy.

Energy isn’t something you get or grab, but rather the by-product of certain conditions that allow it to show up in your life. If your health and attitude and body and mind are all aligned in the right way, there’s nothing else for you to do but to feel energized. It’s the natural “side-effect” of a healthy life– it just comes with the territory.

Let’s say you were a swimmer wearing a weight belt and you wanted to increase your time in the 50 yard freestyle. You could spend a lot of effort researching the latest titanium high-tech bathing suit- which might add a second or two to your time- but wouldn’t it be a lot more effective to simply drop the weight belt?

Most of us are carrying around weight belts and looking to increase our energy with coffee and stimulants when in fact if we just dropped the weight belt we’d automatically go faster.

Some of the items on our weight belt are: too little sleep, disorganization, toxic relationships, high-carb diets, undetected food sensitivities, and all sort of other facts of modern life that I discuss in detail in my book, “The 150 Most Effective Ways to Boost Your Energy“. In this article I’m going to suggest seven ways to help drop the weight belt from your energy tank. Do them and you may be surprised at what a boost in energy they give you.

  1. Support your liver. You can help your liver do its job more effectively- and boost your energy in the bargain- by taking a daily dose of an herb called milk thistle . I consider the liver the most misunderstood and underappreciated organ in the human body, because when it’s not working right, the first thing to suffer is your energy. Giving the liver all the nutrients it needs to perform its daily tasks is one of the most important things you can do to boost your energy.
  2. Get ten minutes of sun every day. “The sun gives you strength, lifts your spirits and is a source of energy”, says my friend Al Sears, MD, author of Your Best Health Under the Sun. Like a growing body of health experts, Sears thinks we’ve become so sun phobic that we’re missing out on the myriad mood-boosting and energy-enhancing benefits that the sunshine vitamin has to offer.
  3. Disconnect for a Day. One of the great energy drainers of the twenty-first century is information overload. We’re deluged with stuff coming at us from emails, RSS feeds, blogs, social networking sites, TV, magazines, radio, fax machines, Blackberries- you get the picture. Knowledge may be power but information overload is just… well, noise. Try a media-free day and feel your own energy accumulate- rather than letting it dissipate as you attend to millions of distractions, most of which- when you think about it- wont’ make much difference in the long run anyway. (If you find the idea of disconnecting for a day a frightening thought, you are exactly the person who needs to do it the most!)
  4. Try the “No-Frills, No-Excuses, Anytime-Anywhere” Workout. We all know that exercise helps with energy- at least I hope we do- but when it comes to working out, time remains a big obstacle for many people. Here’s my own “no excuses” lo-tech workout that you can do just about anywhere in as little as 15 or 20 minutes for an amazing boost in energy: 1) Run a mile, 2) do some squats, 3) do some push-ups, 4) do some crunches. Stretch and go about your business refreshed and energized. And if you can’t go out and run the mile, do some jumping jacks in your office, or run the stairs.
  5. Revive your “qi”. Acupuncture is based on the precepts of Traditional Chinese Medicine: that the body and mind are inextricably linked; that vital energy- or qi – regulates a person’s spiritual, mental and physical health; and that each of us is a delicate balance of opposing and inseparable forces- yin and yang- and when that balance is disrupted, vital energy becomes blocked or weakened. When our “qi” (energy) is at optimal levels and flowing smoothly, we’re ready to take on the world- spiritually, emotionally, mentally and physically we’re strong healthy and energized. One terrific way to balance that energy is through acupuncture.
  6. De-Clutter and Deep-Six the Energy Drain. Here’s a rule I’ve found to be a universal truth: Your energy has a perfect inverse relationship to the accumulation of stuff you don’t need. The more unwanted, unused, unneeded stuff you have cluttering up your life, the less energy you have. Believe it or not the condition of your desk (and desktop) and office and living space actually reflect a lot of what’s going on in your head. If you take time to organize and de-clutter, you’ll actually be freeing up a lot of psychic space and that can really turbo charge your energy.
  7. Take the right supplements. While supplements don’t really “give” you energy, they can correct metabolic issues that are draining it. They can also speed along certain pathways that are nutrient dependent and that get sluggish (and energy-draining) when those nutrients are in short supply. One terrific energizing nutrient is Coenzyme Q10 .

About the Author:  Jonny Bowden, PhD, C.N.S. is a board-certified nutrition specialist, author and nationally known expert on weight loss and nutrition.  His work has been endorsed by many well-known specialists of integrative medicine and nutrition including Dr. Christiane Northrup, Dr. Mehmet Oz, Dr. Barry Sears (who calls him “one of the best”) and Dr. Ann Louise Gittleman, (who calls him “the personal health coach I would want in my corner no matter what”).  For more advice on staying fit and healthy, check out his site at JonnyBowden.com.

[Editor’s Comments: Thanks to Dr. Jonny for these simple energy boosting strategies!

Personally, I’m still working on the de-cluttering, I have trouble disconnecting for a few hours let alone an entire day and I’ve never tried acupuncture. However, I absolutely notice an increase in my energy levels when I exercise regularly, get a little sun each day and supplement my diet. 

How about you? What do you feel is the most effective method to boost your energy “naturally,” meaning without the use of caffeine or other stimulants? And please don’t tell me about the 3 Red Bull Energy Drinks or the pot of coffee you slam throughout the day!

To find out more about the essential supplements Dr. Jonny recommends, you can sign up for his free audio course, “7 Supplements You Need Now” on his website JonnyBowden.com.]

 

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1 Carol Popichak January 9, 2010 at 1:34 pm

A great article by Dr. Bowden to keep on the fridge, and I’ll use his “seven ways to help drop the weight belt from your energy tank” as a checklist. I haven’t taken milk thistle or Coenzyme Q10, but the disconnecting for a day, de-cluttering, exercising & getting out in the sunshine – tried and true ways for lifting the spirit and getting energized. My favorite “natural” boost is probably walking the dogs, preferably in the sunshine…and at the beach. Thanks, Pete!

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